Very hard to say a final farewell to a friend you have known for almost 50 years, whose children grew up with one's own children, so much time we all spent together. Lots of happy memories. But this was it - farewell.

A lovely service at Oakworth Crematorium. Our daughter came up from London to be there and it was good to see the girls together, all grown up now. I was asked by the family to read a poem chosen by one of the daughters - how much beauty there is in life, but how transient it is.  

The fire in leaf and grass
So green it seems 
Each summer the last summer

The wind blowing, the leaves shivering in the sun,
Each day the last day

A red salamander,
So cold and so easy to catch, moves his delicate feet and long tail.

I hold my hand open for him to go. 
Each minute the last minute.

Denise Levertov

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